Fort Lauderdale Conducts Groundbreaking Climate Training for Employees

By Maggie Fernandez

The City of Fort Lauderdale recently completed “Climate Change and Sustainability:  Science, Seriousness, Solutions” training for its 2,600 employees in order to encourage them to adopt sustainable practices to minimize the effects of climate change and plan for future conditions to create a stronger and more resilient community. Together with its partner, the Climate Leadership Engagement Opportunities (CLEO) Institute, 30 two-hour training sessions took place in May and June 2015 where employees learned the fundamentals of climate change. Post-training surveys indicate that an average of 80 percent of participants strongly agree/agree that the training has provided them with greater awareness of climate change and its impacts.

“All employees working together and applying their knowledge is required to address the environmental challenges faced by the City,” said Assistant City Manager Susanne M. Torriente. “Together with the Greening Our Routine employee program and the ESMS – Environmental and Sustainability Management System, the City is proactively addressing changing climate conditions and serving as a model for other communities facing similar challenges.”

Investing resources to train its employees reflects the City’s commitment to its neighbors and their vision of creating a resilient and safe coastal community.  In the 2014 Neighbor Survey, following a wake-up call from the direct erosional impacts of Superstorm Sandy, residents indicated they are experiencing more frequent and more intense local weather events. Neighbors increasingly support measures to enhance the City’s resilience against the impacts of climate change. By implementing the goals outlined in its Sustainability Action Plan and Strategic Plan to reduce energy, fuel, water use and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020, Fort Lauderdale is working to bring the resident vision to life.

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